New Jersey Divorce Lawyers
Dedicated Bergen County Divorce Attorneys with a Personal Touch
Our Bergen County divorce lawyers work one-on-one with clients to offer compassionate and respectful legal counsel. We know that this is a difficult time, and we can provide the resources and the support system you need to make sure your divorce is handled as smoothly as possible.
Unsurpassed Legal Support for Your Divorce
- We have more than 60 years of collective legal experience.
- We offer a free, private initial consultation.
- We offer evening appointments, if necessary.
- We promptly respond to our clients' questions and concerns.
- We deliver client-focused representation.
- We build customized agreements and case strategies.
- We are highly respectable Bergen County divorce attorneys.
What Are Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?
There are several different grounds for divorce in New Jersey, but adultery is the only reason which can abrogate the requirement that either spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least one year before filing. On the other hand, no grounds are needed to qualify for a legal separation.
Although fault may be used to file for a divorce, no-fault divorce is also an option, known as "irreconcilable differences" which were added to New Jersey’s divorce laws in 2007.
In addition to adultery, grounds for fault-based divorce include:
- Desertion: Also known as marital abandonment, this occurs when one spouse willfully deserts the other spouse for a period of at least 12 months.
- Addiction: You must prove that your spouse has been abusing drugs or alcohol for a year or more and it is ruining your relationship.
- Institutionalization: This occurs when a spouse has been institutionalized for a mental illness that has lasted 2 years or more.
- Imprisonment: This is valid only if the spouse is convicted to a prison sentence of 18 or more months after the marriage took place.
- Deviant sexual conduct: this can be defined as conduct performed voluntarily by the defendant without the plaintiff's consent.
- Extreme cruelty: Behavior that makes cohabitation unreasonable or impossible.
To file for divorce in the state, either of the spouses needs to have been a resident for at least a year before filing, unless the grounds for divorce is adultery. In such cases, the requirement is that at least one spouse must be a New Jersey resident for any length of time at all. If you have further questions about this, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Bergen County divorce attorney.
What are the Different Types of Divorce in New Jersey?
- Uncontested Divorce: This is also known as a "no-fault" divorce. Both parties agree on the division of property and child custody/child support.
- Contested Divorce: This is when a married couple cannot agree on division of assets, property, child support, child custody, and spousal support. The divorce will have to go before a judge to have the issues sorted.
- Mediated Divorce: This type of divorce is the least traumatic for most couples going through a divorce. Agreements in the divorce contract are discussed with a third party attorney or divorce mediator.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Divorce in NJ?
If you want to know how much your divorce will cost you, there is no straightforward answer. It will depend on a number of factors, such as how contentious the situation is between you and your spouse. Other factors that will affect the cost may include how many times you have to go to court, the degree of conflict, if there are any potential child custody disputes, and whether any particular complex legal issues are present. At Sherwood, Johnson & Poles, our Bergen County divorce attorneys aim to keep you informed regarding all facets of a divorce, including the costs involved.
Many believe that it is cheaper to file pro se, instead of retaining the services of an attorney. However, there are filing fees and court costs associated with filing pro se that could end up costing you more in the long run.
Some costs you should consider include:
- The filing fee for divorce in New Jersey is $300.00. If you have to file any motions (applications requesting relief), you will be charged an additional $50.00 per motion.
- There are other expenses: service of process, subpoenas, depositions, trial preparation, and costs associated with the retention and potential testimony of expert witnesses.
How to Manage the Costs in Divorce
It is important that you approach your divorce in a business-like manner. The sooner you are able to come up with satisfactory solutions for dividing assets, paying support (if necessary), and implementing a good parenting plan, the more peaceful and less costly your divorce proceeding will be.
While many individuals will try to cut costs by not securing legal representation, this is ill-advised. With such important things on the line as your children's future and your economic stability, it is imperative that you ensure your best interests are represented.
What Happens to Property and Children Before a Divorce Is Finalized?
You can file for temporary orders to decide who gets what during a divorce process and to ensure that your children maintain stability throughout the proceedings. The judge will issue a final order upon closure of the divorce that will supersede all temporary orders.
We Proudly Offer Viable Alternatives
Besides assisting our clients through contentious litigation, we pride ourselves in offering collaborative divorce and mediation services as Bergen County divorce lawyers. Mediation is considered to be a more private and cost-effective route.
As members of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, our attorneys have the training and skills to serve as your mediator and help you come to an agreement regarding matters such as high asset division, child support, alimony and spousal support, or other complex divorce matters.
If you do not wish to legally divorce – due to religious reasons, for example – we can help you petition for a divorce from bed and board or enter into a separation agreement with your spouse. Our Bergen County divorce attorney serves clients throughout New Jersey and is ready to guide you through this time. There are options available to you, no matter your story.
Social Media and Divorce
During divorce proceedings, if you are one of the many couples who cannot keep an amicable relationship, you are likely fighting for your rights to your children, property, and assets. When things are sincerely contentious between you and your ex-spouse, it makes sense you would perhaps turn to venting all of your frustrations on whichever social media platform you are most comfortable with. However, this brief moment can deter your divorce proceedings from their smooth course and result in consequences you won’t want to deal with down the line.
If you post on social media about your divorce, it is very likely the judge will catch wind of this information. Posting negative, harassing, or defamatory comments about your ex-spouse will inevitably only make you look bad in the eyes of the court, and may even prove to show you as an unfit parent. Also, you must remember divorce is essentially about finances. If you are requesting alimony or denying being able to pay child support, yet you display living a lavish lifestyle, the judge will not be impressed by these displays.
All of these factors and more can be used against you, which is why it is essential you are advised by a Bergen County divorce lawyer such as ours at Sherwood, Johnson & Poles.
- BLOG: How to Get Yourself Ready for a Divorce
- BLOG: Mistakes to Avoid During Your Divorce
- BLOG: Divorce with Special Needs Children
Filing for divorce in New Jersey? Contact Sherwood, Johnson & Poles today at (888) 224-1218 or online to speak with our Bergen County divorce lawyer.